Seven car thefts reported

Steamboat police investigating string of crime over holidays

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A string of vehicle thefts has the Steamboat Springs Police Department warning residents to lock their doors.

Director of Public Safety Services J.D. Hays said seven vehicles were reported stolen over the holidays. All the vehicles were recovered; one was damaged.

Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing said all of the victims had left their keys in their vehicle and the doors unlocked.

Hays said that when victims were asked why the doors were unlocked, most said because they live in Steamboat.

"That's a pretty common response," he said "People need to lock their cars and take the keys."

Two vehicles were stolen New Year's Eve from two separate parties in the Blue Sage Drive and Mauna Kea Lane area. Both the vehicles were found with no damage, and police have suspects.

A 1992 Ford AeroStar van was stolen sometime New Year's Eve and found stuck in a snow bank on Blue Sage Drive later that night. A city worker said he saw the van go off the road, and 10 minutes later, the driver was gone but the keys were in the ignition and doors were unlocked.

A 1995 Ford Explorer was reported stolen the morning of New Year's Day and later was found in the 600 block of Lincoln Avenue.

On Tuesday, a vehicle was reported stolen from the Sheraton parking garage. A man reportedly left his car running and the doors unlocked. The car was found downtown later that day with nothing damaged or missing.

Despite the perception that Steamboat is a nearly crime-free town, the police department fields 18,000 law enforcement calls a year, Hays said.

"Fortunately it is not a lot of violent things, but there is a lot of theft of skis and cars," he said.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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